I have seen multiple photographer to claim they captured milky way photograph using phone but to me it looks like overlayed using Photoshop, is it really possible to capture using phones like poco f1? If yes how?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ ask them about some details. A rather wide angle lens, high ISO, long exposure time and a tripod would be necessary. Check the data on existing Milky Way photos on flickr \$\endgroup\$
    – jps
    Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 9:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Short answer: Yes, it is possible, but will most likely not look very good. Could you maybe share a link to a photo that the photographer claims was shot with a phone? \$\endgroup\$
    – jng224
    Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 19:06

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is possible, although the result will likely be mediocre. Why?

  • Phone camera's sensors are tiny compared to DX or FX, therefore they are much noisier
  • Nice Milky Way pictures are achieved by stacking multiple frames. For that, you need a mount following the rotation of our planet

I had a success imaging Aurora Borealis that is also quite faint. Milky Way is fainter, but I am pretty sure it is doable.

My advice:

  • Put your phone on a tripod (a must!)
  • Set ISO to the value preceding the maximum one (say 1600 if max ISO is 3200)
  • Try to get to a dark place. Light pollution will ruin Milky Way photos
  • If you have a wide-angle camera on your phone, use it. This will allow you to shoot a larger Milky Way area and you can bump the exposure time
  • Focus on the infinity. Autofocus may not work as expected in dark conditions
  • Set shutter speed to 30+ seconds
  • Take a picture of Milky Way
  • Bump ISO/shutter speed if the noise is acceptable, light pollution is not prominent and you don't see star trails

Update: I tested my wife's new Huawei P40 Pro a couple days ago, here's what I got with ISO 3200 and 30s of exposure. I had no tripod so I used my sweater to tilt the phone. Those are single shots, no stacking:

enter image description here enter image description here

Good luck!


Yes you can take an image of the milky way with a smartphone, however, due to current limitations of smartphone cameras,it will always result in a limited image. In other words, if your aim is to capture the Milkyway in its full glory, the limitations of a smartphone won't allow you to do so.

Having said that, follow these guidelines, and you should achieve the best the smartphone can offer.

  1. Ensure you mount the smartphone on a sturdy tripod
  2. Attach a wide angle lens in front of the main phone camera
  3. Set your camera onto RAW mode. If your phone cannot do that, download a 3rdParty Camera APP that will allow you to do that.
  4. Ensure that you can trigger your camera with a voice command so there is no need for you to touch it and create shake
  5. Set your phone at ISO3200 or the highest ISO it allows
  6. Set the Aperture at its most open. F1/8, f2.8 etc
  7. Now, this is the tricky part, set the shutter speed at 20 seconds. (We don’t know the focal length of the lens, so this will be trial and error)

You are now ready to take your first image.

Examine the image, if its sharp but could do with more light, decrease your shutter speed (you can do this all the way until you start seeing trails.) If there are start trails, then you need to increase your shutter speed.

As a final word, this is only the beginning of the capture and the raw file will need to be processed using an image development application such as Lightroom, but that's a separate topic.

Good Luck!


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